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Water Found On Moon Could Sustain Human Life, Scientists Say (PICTURE)

Moon

Huffington Post   First Posted: 05/02/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 04:40 PM ET

Hundreds of millions of tons of water have been found on the Moon, and scientists believe that this considerable quantity would be sufficient to support life on the planet.

Wired describes the findings of the lunar probe:

A NASA radar aboard India's Chandrayaan-I lunar orbiter found 40 craters, ranging in size from 1 to 9 miles across, with pockets of ice. Scientists estimate at least 600 million tons of ice could be entombed in these craters.

The image below shows the north pole of the moon and pinpoints the craters that scientists believe contain the stores of water.


Dr. Paul Spudis,
with the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, told the BBC, 'Now we can say with a fair degree of confidence that a sustainable human presence on the Moon is possible. It's possible using the resources we find there.'

As Dr. Spudis notes, the discovery of such vast sources of water has significant implications for the future of space exploration, as astronauts could use the water to sustain a base on the moon, or even to generate oxygen.

In November 2009, NASA announced that it had found a 'significant' amount of water on the moon following its LCROSS mission to 'bomb' the moon.

The most recent findings, which were shared at a Texas science conference, help pinpoint more precisely the location of the water, as well as its quantity.

Dr. Spudis told the BBC, 'The results from these missions, that we have seen in the last few months, are totally revolutionizing our view of the Moon.'

Image: ISRO/NASA/JHUAPL/LP
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